New Albany skate park to get new lease on life

Updated: Apr. 26, 2017 at 7:35 PM EDT
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NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - It was set to be demolished but local a skate park will be staying put thanks to some creative thinkers.

The City of New Albany is working with the Carnegie Center of Art and History to not only give the park new life but also give it a new look that whole the community can enjoy.

The city's only rule is that everything must stay within the current space.

On a hot spring day, you won't find a lot going on at New Albany's downtown skate park.

"Not much to it now, it's just weathered down concrete, it needs a lot of work," skateboarder Ben Ellnor said.

Ellnor said you can't beat the location and the views it has to offer. It sits along the Ohio River Greenway, which is just about to be expanded. There are some changes Ellnor would like to see.

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"Maybe cover up some of the graffiti and some of the cracks in the ground because sometimes your wheels can get caught in there and you can fall," Ellnor said.

The Carnegie Center For Art and History sees the potential; not only giving the park a total makeover for the skating community to enjoy but actually turning it into a piece of public art.

"We think this can be a prime opportunity to really have an exclamation point for that area," Carnegie Center Curator Daniel Pfalzgraf said.

The city, who owns the park and will continue to maintain it, jumped on board. They were originally planning on tearing it down after they built a new one at Silver Street Park. Now there will be two.

"We came up with this idea and proposed it to them and they loved it," Pfalzgraf said. "They've been very supportive."

Saturday, April 29, the Center is inviting all that are interested to come and participate in a Skate and Create workshop. They are working with Hunter Skateparks out of Bloomington.

"We'll sketch out ideas, have modeling clay for people to construct miniature versions or draw out with chalk out on the concrete on the park itself," Pfalzgraf said.

The Carnegie Center hopes to raise at least $150,000, though they would love to double their goal.

"Someone came up with the idea of having a gigantic fish sculpture down there that we can figure out a way to make that skatable and once all that concrete work is finished and completed," Pfalzgraf said. "We'll start incorporating mural work or possibly mosaic work. There's a lot of opportunities there."

Ellnor said he is looking forward to the project.

"Every place downtown has kind of been remodeled and revamped and this is kind of the last piece that's remaining," Pfalzgraf said.

The workshop will be this Saturday at the park at 1 p.m. unless it rains, then it will be moved to the Carnegie Center. They hope to have a master plan complete by the end of the summer.

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